Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 4!!

Hey everyone!!! 

I am so sorry that I totally just bombarded you with pictures, but it has been something that I have been wanting to for a long time, but I kept leaving my darn camera in the apartment, haha!!

But I will have to keep this message short, because I took too much time with the pictures, but we have had an amazing week!!  We are working a lot with less actives and we have almost brought back 2!  One of which is a father that has a girlfriend who is not a member of the church that came to General Conference and we are slowly working with her and I think she might start taking the discussions.  We went over to his house (I am going to exclude names, for personal information reasons) and we watched the Restoration film and as we were watching it, she walked in and slowly reached her way to the couch and watched the whole thing.  We know she is interested, but we just need to give it some time. :)

I just want all of you to know that I am doing very well and that the work is moving along here in Slovenia!  The language is coming and it is exciting everyday, and I am having so many experiences here that I want to share, but time is always an issue here!  But next week I will fill you all in on these past few weeks and will send less pictures. :)


This is a hike we went on last P-Day.


This is my dreaded bike "The Legend"!  It finally died last week and I had to get it repaired.  It was so funny, because it was so loud it sounded like a motorcycle when I rode it, but.... it went about 2 mph, because it was so slow and beat up!  I'm not lying when I say that I had to pedal going down hill!! XD  

And then that other pic was my lunch yesterday because I was out of food, haha!! XD

But now everything is perfect, because my bike is actually a bike and I have food!! :D


Thought I would share this funny little thing!  This is our shower, haha!!  My companion made a shower curtain out trash bags a long time ago, because I guess European bathrooms don't really have curtains, haha!  And then he tied the shower head to hang up, because a lot of bathrooms you just hold it, haha! :)


These are some pictures that I took today around our church.  As you can see our church is a little small think tucked away in an alley and then we have the huge Catholic Cathedral across the street, haha!!  I've heard that sometimes missionaries have had to go and get there investigators that went to the wrong church for the first time! XD


Monday, October 14, 2013

2nd week!

Zdravo vsi!!

It has been a great second week here in Celje and it is absolutely gorgeous!!  Slovenia is an amazing place and it is so cool!!  Here in Celje it turns out that it is built on an ancient Roman city and there are roman ruins everywhere!  It is also really cool/hilarious, because they are doing construction on the cobble stones (which are everywhere!) and they keep find roman stuff!  The Slovenes sometime get really sick of this, because it then puts back the construction for weeks, haha!  A couple of months ago they found an ancient Roman Well and restored it and I got the chance to go see it this morning! :)

This week has been very busy, because we have had Visa Paper work to do, Zone Conference, a big Open House for the Church, and Conference!  So I have been very busy!  

Here in Celje we have about 70 members on recored, but only about 15-20 are active and these past few weeks we have been doing a lot of reactivation work.  We have been meeting with a woman named Kestancija and she is awesome!  She has been inactive for a couple of months, but we are trying hard to get her back.  She is very sweet and very nice and is about 50 years old and she came with us to Conference yesterday! (conference was yesterday, because we had to wait a week for the Slovene translations and for the first year the Slovenes actually did their only translations for conference instead of having a returned missionary in Salt Lake do it.  It is actually a lot better for the members here and it was a blessing for them.)  Kestancija loved general conference and I think that she will start coming back to Church, which will be a great blessing for the branch.
The Branch President here is President Stojanovič and he is amazing!  I love him and he has such a great spirit and is very kind!  Me and Elder Benson actual gave him a blessing last night, and I had to do the Anointing in Slovene.  Kind of hard, but I did it with the help of the White Handbook! Wahoo!! ;)

I absolutely loved this last conference and I have never been so excited for one ever before!  We watched the saturday sessions at a Senior Couple's home (Elder and Sister Ewell) and we sat in their living room eating snacks while watching it on a laptop.  It really made me miss my family and remembering the good times of sitting with them in my pajamas (which I couldn't do, haha) and thinking that only a year ago was I sitting with all of them, when the age change was made!  It made me miss them so much!  So I want you all to know that I love you and am always thinking about you!

Yesterday we watched the Sunday sessions in Ljubljana in the church there and it was awesome!¨ The first session I watched in Slovene, which was so hard!  I literally only understood about 5% of what was being said, but it was really good practice.  I then watched the second session in English with some of the slovenes that were in the MTC with me, but were a group that was about 3 weeks ahead of me.  It was great to hang out with them again and it was really cool, because on of them brought an investigator to conference and as we were watching he started to ask a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation and I was able to help Elder Dearinger and Elder Stot (the MTC missionaries) teach, it was great experience and we all felt the spirit a lot. 

I will mention a little about my daily life here in Celje!  So me and Elder Benson live in an apartment that is the very last room in the entire building, 6th floor actually.  And every morning I walk down those steps and every night when I am exhausted I walk up those steps.  Our apartment is very small and has about 3 rooms: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom.  Very basic, but it's home!  Then me and Elder Benson have bikes and we are actually one of the few missionaries with bikes.  Elder Benson and his last companion bought them at Police auction last transfer.  They are so nice, but... my bike is probably the most awful bike in the world, haha!  It literally sounds like it has an engine on it when you are peddling and it is so slow and old.  But I am grateful for it, because I am definitely getting a workout from it everyday, haha! :)

I have to get going now, but I hope this was a good update letter!  There is so much to do and so much to write about, so it is really hard to get everything done!  I hope you all are doing well and I miss and love all of you!!

-Elder Lyman

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey everyone!!!

I just want to say this before I get started:  sorry if the spelling is off on any of the words.  The keyboards here are really different and the y and the z are switched so it is kinda hard, haha! BUT anyways....

This past week has been so amazing!!!!!  I love Slovenia already and it is so cool!!  So gorgeous!!  I'll get to that later though and talk about my trip over here! :)

So we woke up at the MTC at 5:00 and left at 6:30 and took a bus over to the train station and took the train to the Salt Lake airport. Then once we got to the airport we checked in all of our bags and headed to our gate.  It was so weird, because it was so surreal to be out in the real world and out of the MTC!!  Felt like I was breaking
so many rules, haha!  But then I had the chance to call home and it was so awesome!!  Loved hearing from my family! :)  We then got on the plane and headed towards Chicago.  While waiting at the airport I was able to give a man and his wife some pass along cards.  Really nice people and had heard a little about the church from their uncle, but that was it, so we will see. :)

Nothing really special happened on the flight, because I was sitting by Elder Bennet (MTC friend going to Croatia) so I just slept the whole way there and did a little bit of scripture study.  But once we got to Chicago all sorts of things started to go wrong!!!  We went to go through security and once we got there we realized we didn't have our boarding passes to Paris, so we went over to Airline France to go print them off.

As we were doing this we gave them our passports and then the workers started to tell us that we didn't have any visas to Croatia (our final destination) and that we couldn't go.  They said that as soon as we got to Paris they would arrest us/deport us and send us straight back!

This was the point when we all started freaking out, because we were just a ton of young kids with no guide and that hadn't really had much experience with airports.  They then told us that there was one way and that was we had to buy return tickets and that it would be very expensive.

Lucky one of the sisters (Sister Burton) with us whipped out a pre-paid cellphone that her mom had mailed her so that she could call her in the airport instead of a pay phone, so she called the Church offices.  We started getting really nervous, because we were running out of time and our flight was suppose to start boarding in 10
minutes.  The church offices told us that they had never had this problem before and Sister Burton tried figuring it out with the Airline employees.  It didn't seem like it was going anywhere and we were almost out of time, so Elder Frederick look around and asked if we should say a prayer and asked me to say it.  We all huddled around
while Sister Burton kept figuring things out and I said a prayer asking for help.  Once we ended the prayer I'm not lying when I say this: literally 5 seconds after the prayer an employee came up and said that our flight had been delayed 20 minutes and then another 5 seconds after that Sister Burton came up saying that the Church
Offices had figured everything out.  We were set!  Then Sister Burton called her Mom and started talking to her and she started to cry and she told us that her Mom was debating a week ago whether to send a prepaid phone or a prepaid phone card to use, but she said that she felt prompted to send the actual phone.

It was literally a miracle and I am so amazed, and I want to let you all know that I have a very strong testimony that prayer really does work and that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for us whenever we call his name in need.  It was a great experience and we had truly been blessed! :)

After that we went through security and made it to the gate and it turned out that our flight had actually been delayed about 40 minutes before we got on, so I had the chance to meet and talk to a lot of people and it was pretty fun!  I even met a missionary from a different church and it was cool.  Everyone there was awesome and very friendly. We then boarded and headed from Chicago to Paris.  My flight was pretty simple.  I sat to next to a man named Muhammad and he was muslim and didn't speak very well English, so I didn't have the chance
to share the gospel.  So I just slept and studied the whole time.

Once we got to Paris we found out that we had missed our flight to Zagreb, Croatia and so we headed back over to Airline France and started talking to them.  They were very helpful, and it took about an hour for us to get everything settled again, but that wasn't the struggle for us. The REAL struggle was trying to figure out how to
work the pay phones, haha!!  We needed to call the church offices and let them know we missed our flight, but the phones were all in french!

Luckily we had two people with us that had taken a little bit of French before the mission and with the two of them together they were able to figure everything out in about.... an hour, haha! :) We then were rerouted to Frankfurt Germany and then got on our flight and headed there.  It was so cool to go there, because two of the
people with us were from Frankfurt!  Elder Uhlig and Sister Konec and they were both going to serve in Croatia, so it was so awesome having our own personal guides around the airport!  Sister Konec was so scared, because her Mom actually works at that airport and so she was scared that she would see her and break the rules.  I still noticed her looking around trying to catch a glimpse of her and I can't blame her!  If I had a chance I would! :) But she didn't see her.

We then finally made it on the flight to Zagreb, Croatia and it was so awesome!!  Everyone around me was speaking croatian which is close to Slovene, so that was really cool to hear that, but I still couldn't
understand anything!

We then landed in Croatia and we flew over Slovenia, but I couldn't see anything, because it was dark and we got there around 7:30. We then went over to the baggage claim and waited.  We waited about 5 minutes and then the bags started coming out one by one and slowly everyone was grabbing theirs and slowly everyone had theirs.  But for me I just sat there patiently holding my hands watching the baggage line go around and around.... and around.  And once everyone was gone there was nothing left on the belt.  Everyone else in our group had
theirs except for Sister Burton.  She had her carry-on, but that was it.  They didn't have enough room for all of the carry-ons so they had us check them in before we left Frankfurt, and my carry on didn't come
on the belt.  So we both waited there for 10 minutes and nothing came.

 They had lost our baggage!!  And the funny thing is that they told us to pack an extra pair of clothes and some other essentials in our carry-on just in case this happened, but, my carry-on was lost too, haha! So there I was in the airport in a foreign country that I knew nothing about with only a backpack on my shoulders and a set of scriptures in my hand and I looked out in the world and said: "Bring it on!"

I went back with all of the other missionaries and met our mission president outside.  His name is President Rowe and he is amazing!!  Me and Sister Burton told President Rowe our dilemma and he sent us with his 1st counselor and we went and made a report with the airport. After that we loaded up in vans and headed over to the mission home. It took about 20 minutes to make it there, but it was so cool to see Zagreb!  I couldn't see much, because it was dark, but I saw a lot of the city and buildings because of the lights and I loved it!! The architecture is so cool!  But what surprised me the most was that there was a TON of graffiti   Everywhere you looked there was graffiti and all over the building's bases.  It was still so amazing though to be there and it was still nonetheless gorgeous!

We then went to the mission home and ate an amazing home cooked meal there made by Sister Rowe, and then we talked for a little all together and then went to bed.  I managed to borrow some stuff from my companions for the night, like some shorts and an extra tooth brush, and then we went to sleep.

The next morning we had interviews and breakfast and I found out that I had been assigned to Celje!!! In Slovenia!!  I actually had a feeling that I would go there in the MTC and I found out when President Rowe closed the interview with a prayer and said to bless me as I go to Celje - really cool way to find out!  

Well I have to go, but I did get my carry-on that day and then survived the next few days with what I had and some stuff from my new companion (Elder Benson - he is so awesome!! And I will write more next week!!)  I got the rest of my luggage 2 days ago too! :)

I love you all so much and miss you all!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Adriatic North Mission

Dear Brother and Sister Lyman,

Despite the delays, Elder Lyman looked terrific when he arrived!  He is full of precious enthusiasm and eager to go to work.  I will let him tell you where he'll be serving, but let me assure you he has a marvelous companion and together they will accomplish great things!  Thank you for sending such a wonderful, well-prepared young man.  We love him already and will take very good care of him.

With love & appreciation
Sister Goodsell
Adriatic North Mission

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm Here!!!

Hey everyone!!!  Really quickly I wanted to send a letter to all of you and let you know that I have arrived safe and sound and am currently in the mission home right now!!  Im here in Croatia and it is beautiful!!!  And boy do I have some crazy stories to tell you all!!!  Its been a crazy day!!  
Ive met my mission president and his family and I love them all!  I will email more on pday and I love you all!!